Teenage murderer starts a new life–then the mask slips

In 1983, in a tiny Wisconsin town, 14-year-old Peter Zimmer brutally murdered his adoptive parents and brother. Because of Wisconsin laws at the time, he never went to jail—he spent three years in a school for boys, and then, as the only remaining member of his family, claimed his inheritance.

Twenty-five years later, Jovan Collier—his new identity—started a romance with Candy Williams in Florida. Everything was fine until Candy found his ads on a racy dating site and ended the relationship. Then the real trouble began.

Last night, the ABC News show 20/20 did a story about Zimmer/Collier. Read Teen’s dark secret: He murdered his family on

Watch the show episode.

Story suggested by a Lovefraud reader.

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15 Comments on "Teenage murderer starts a new life–then the mask slips"

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Dear Aeylah,

Yes, as a matter of fact I have…my egg donor’s mother’s side goes back to a man born in 1800 who was murdered in 1860. There was a law suit over custody of his step son (age 14) who had some land, and between the step father (my ancestor) and the kid’s uncle (also a big time N) both men wanting control of the land, and it was a big CHIT SLINGING custody fight with various neighbors called in to testify about the fights between my ancestor and his wife (the boy’s mother) and the neighbors who had to drag him off the public road drunk when he got his wagon turned around and was headed away from home at night, and how he either threatened to or did tie up a slave woman by her toes and whip her Anyway, there are 287 pages of hand written testimony about this law suit that are INTERESTING. Also this same family on a lateral branch goes down 3 generations more of murder/suicides and abuse, one of the descendents of that line and I traced the “poor house” records of her father’s family and court records. We were fortunate that all the records survived that ocunty from late 1790s to after the Civil War and into the 1900s without gaps.

My egg donor’s brother I think qualifies as a diagnosable psychopath and abuser as well as binge drinker/alcoholic. Abusive and filled with rage from an early age. I also suspect he was or might have been bi-polar.

On my P sperm donor’s side, I haven’t got much, but do know his mother fit all the criteria as psychopath, and her father was a bigamist and a Methodist minister with at least 4 wives that I know of (and families) and two of the women at the same time.

Can’t get any solid information or history other than names back past that great grandfather-bigamist.

On my kids’ father’s side, my husband’s father is a full blown psychopath, his mother a typical cowed down abused woman, and his father’s family were hill-billy horse thieves in general, though he had a good education and was quite bright. So my kids have DNA heavily loaded with psychopathic traits.

My P son is soooo much like my P-sperm donor and though they never met, even their hand writing is similar. Facial expressions and mannerisms. Spooky.

While I don’t think genetics is ALL of what makes a person become a psychopath I do think it is a BIG part of it. What makes a psychopath become a KILLER (or worse) however, is CHOICE. They have choices just like we do.

Dear Oxy,

Wow….thanks for the background! Scary stuff, it does seem to prove that there is a strong tie in the genetic history, though I agree with you, not all people with the genetic pre disposition turn out to be this sick…or worse, murderers.

I remember seing a program on PBS recently about this topic , can’t remember the name but there is a doctor who researched the brains of dead and living psycopaths and discovered that the region of the brain that process emotions and cause and affect were litteraly empty of certain cells and mass density. interestingly enough, he knew that there was a history of them (SP’s) in his own ancestors so he decided to test his imediate family. He is happily married, had a happy healthy childhood with “normal” parents, has 5 healthy kids and has a PHD in neuro pathology (or someithing like that). Upon testing all his children and still living mother, he found normal brains, BUT when he tested himself, HE FOUND HE HAD THE BRAIN COMPOSITION OF A PSYCHOPATH HIMSELF!

He researched some more and found that YES, a person who has the genetic pre-disposition to become a Psychopath can lead a normal happy life as in the case of himself……IFF they make the right choices….and more likely to succeed was the fact that he/she has had a loving supportive supprotive healthy family of origen and emotionally healthy parents (both).

I don’t believe that complety “healthy non- disfuncional” family can exists out there, no matter how emotionally healthy the parents are…but It takes a tremendous amount of self realization and determination to do the right thing if you do grow up in a healthy family, know the difference between right and wrong and still choose to do wrong.

Dear Aeylah,

Yea, I saw that information about the doctor and his checking on his family and his own brain. I am not too sure of the validity of the fMRI scan in determining a psychopathic brain from a normal brain, there is still some controversy out over the validity, but the research is going on and they have to start somewhere.

The chemistry and physiology of the brain is very interesting and in the last few years there has been some really interesting research done on that. I’ve read several books on that research, both physical and psychological, and I’d LOVE to be around in 100 years and see what they have found out by then. When you think that less than 100 years ago even in civilized countries mental illness really had NO cures or controls and people were still being warehoused like animals. It is still like that in some parts of the world today that doesn’t have access to the medications and treatments available today. It is also a shame too that without insurance TREATABLE mental illnesses are going untreated and people are living in jails and prisons that with proper treatment might never have gone down the road toward criminal behavior. (Bi-polar is one treatable mental illness that if it isn’t complicated by ALSO having PPD can push a person into criminal behavior where with treatment they might have made other choices)

People with the genetic tendency for PPD can turn it into at least a NON-criminal life by making better choices. I’m not sure WHY some choose the criminal path and some politics (although those over lap sometimes! LOL) but that craving that some of them have for excitement and risk taking if not channeled somehow goes over board. I wish I knew why. I would much rather just have JUST an “asshole” son than the one I have locked up in prison for extreme criminal behavior and violence.

I’m like you though, I think, DYS-functional is “normal” (meaning average). LOL

But I’m tired of living that way, functioning in my dysfunction. I’m going for PSYCHOPATH-FREE.

Dear Oxy,

LOL….love that last statement….”functioning in my dysfunction” …this has been my life…..and going PSYCHOATH – FREE is my mission as well!

Above all the painful experiences you’ve had to endure I cringe the most thinking about the heart ache you’ve had to endure with your criminal son! as a mother myself…this would be one of my worst nightmares…so sorry for your pain.

You’ve come a long way Oxy, and turning your pain to help others has been the best healing process for yourself and a gift for others!

Thank you friend ((((hugs))))

Dear Aeylah,

The “functioning in my dysfunction” is something I picked up last week here on LF—every day there is something I LEARN HERE and that is what keeps me coming back. Can’t remember who said it (CRS) so someone jump in and say who said it, but wasn’t original with me, but RESONATED with me DINGGGG!!!!!! It is what I have done all my life!

It does help to reach a helping hand out to others because it reinforces what I need to know myself.

Just like if you and I are “dieting” together we can encourage each other to go the distance, to say in the path and not “cheat” when we have to admit it to our friends! LOL

It is difficult to lose a child to death OR to psychopathy, but you know, ALL LOSS of people we love is terrible and when they BETRAY US to boot, that only makes it 10 Xs, 100Xs worse!

It hurt to lose my husband but he didn’t die just to spite me! My son was LOST to spite me, to hurt me, my egg donor did what she did to PURPOSELY hurt me (she even admitted it once!) So that BETRAYAL is what is so VERY painful.

Jesus was BETRAYED by His FRIEND, by someone he loved with the “kiss” of betrayal. I think that is the reason that the story of His crucifiction is so terrible is because his FRIEND, someone who had SEEN his kindness and compassion and was NOT MOVED BY IT could betray Him FOR THE PRICE OF A COMMON SLAVE.

I always wondered about why Judas threw the money back, and why he hanged himself…I really don’t think it was remorse, like a normal person would feel, some how it seems like it was just the ultimate psychopathic escape tactic.

They will do just about anything to keep from being “convicted” of whatever it is that they are guilty of, but it isn’t out of “remorse” like a normal person would feel. Sometimes when they are REALLY cornered they will commit suicide as well.

Thank you for calling me “friend” Aeylah, believe me when I say I do value the friendships I have made here at LoveFraud! Every one of them! Many of those friends no longer post here, but I remember the hands of kindness they reached out for me when I was a train wreck—Beverly came back the other day to just say “Hi” and let me know she is doing well. I t means more than you (or she) can know. Sometimes we DO “entertain angels unawares!”

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